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    Glaucoma specialists focus attention on forthcoming advances, therapies

    Specialists anticipate rho kinase/norepinephrine transporter drug to advance into pivotal trial

     

    Take home

    Specialists in glaucoma anticipate the future availability of a novel triple-action agent, as well as other medical and surgical management developments.

     

     

    Although options for glaucoma treatment remained unchanged in 2014, initiation of the phase III registration trials for AR-13324 (Rhopressa, Aerie Pharmaceuticals) is generating excitement among glaucoma specialists about the future availability of this novel triple-action agent.

    Ophthalmology Times Editorial Advisory Board members Malik Y. Kahook, MD, and Joel S. Schuman, MD, spoke about these and other recent developments relating to medical and surgical glaucoma management.

    AR-13324 is the first rho kinase (ROCK)/norepinephrine transporter (NET) drug to advance into a pivotal trial. It acts to specifically target the trabecular meshwork, lowers episcleral venous pressure, and reduces aqueous production.

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    The pivotal studies are designed to establish non-inferiority of AR-13324 versus timolol, and results are expected in mid-2015. In addition, AR-13324 is being developed as a fixed combination with latanoprost (Roclatan, Aerie Pharmaceuticals), and results reported earlier this year from a phase IIb study showed the fixed combination met all clinical endpoints. Based on those positive results, planning of phase III studies of the fixed combination is underway. The pivotal trial program is expected to begin in mid-2015 with efficacy results becoming available in 2016.

    Discussing AR-13324, Dr. Schuman paid tribute to David Epstein, MD, who passed away in March and who pioneered the research leading to the development of medications acting on the trabecular meshwork.

    “It is sad that Dr. Epstein is not alive to see all the continuing progress occurring in the field that he stimulated,” commented Dr. Schuman, Distinguished Professor and Chairman of Ophthalmology, The Eye and Ear Foundation Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and Director, UPMC Eye Center, Pittsburgh.

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